Baidu Contributes to Launch of World’s First Digital Collection Featuring Lunar Soil

The online launch ceremony for China’s Space Day 2022 was held on Sunday. An AI-composed version of “The East is Red” (Dongfanghong) paid tribute to the history of China’s space program, and the Zhurong and Space Rabbit digital characters announced the winners of design activities for the Chang’e-7 mission and asteroid exploration.

On the day, the Chinese Lunar Exploration Program (CLEP) also released the world’s first digital collection featuring lunar soil on Baidu Xuper Chain, a highly flexible blockchain architecture with great transaction performance. In 2020, the Chang’e-5 spacecraft returned from space with 1,731 grams of moon samples, realizing China’s first unmanned lunar sampling return. The digital collection released this time is based on the real lunar soil brought back by the Chang’e-5 mission, which was made by technicians after putting it under a microscope about 250 times, extracting local scanning and generating digital images. A total of 1,731 limited copies have been launched on Baidu and Xiaodu apps.

Mars Rover & Space Rabbit Digital Collection (Source: CLEP)

The Space Rabbit and Zhurong series of digital collections were also released. Their design came from China’s first robotic lunar rover Yutu, and Zhurong, the first Chinese Mars rover.

In addition, at the opening prelude of the launching ceremony, the AI composed version of “The East is Red” was supported by Baidu PaddlePaddle, an open source machine learning framework. The edited song was developed by Cao Zhihao, a 21-year-old college student and a developer of Baidu PaddlePaddle.

The music uses 30 minutes of audio material from space. It includes rocket launch sounds, Zhurong Mars rover spacewalk sound sounds, solar wind, a cucurbit flute sound played by an astronaut, and the sound of guzheng played by astronaut Wang Yaping. The song combines sounds of string instruments, wind instruments, synthesizers and drums as the keynote, using AI to compose a transitional musical style.

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The Space Rabbit digital character released this time and the Mars Rover digital character released by Baidu in cooperation with China’s Mars Exploration Project in 2021 are all supported by the digital human technology system of Baidu. The lightweight deep neural network model designed by Baidu AI Cloud and the first mouth shape prediction technology based on high-precision 4D scanning in China can generate the mouth shape, expression and movement of digital humans in real time, with an accuracy rate close to 99%.

Space Rabbit Digital Character (Source: CLEP)

Baidu officially signed as the “Global Strategic Partner of Artificial Intelligence” with CLEP in December last year, exploring the innovation of AI technology and technology in the field of deep space exploration including lunar exploration and planetary exploration.

In the future, AI is expected to be widely used in the aerospace field, such as for spacecraft fault analysis, mission design and planning, autonomous decision-making, smart robots and swarm intelligence.